Psychology of addiction and substance abuse

Your first post in this discussion must be 250 words

Part II: All of our readings this week are focused on drug-taking behavior and the effects it can have on our bodies, our minds, our lives, and our societies. Considering each of the various factors discussed in the reading, which two topics you would argue are the most important things you learned in terms of understanding the impact of drugs in society and in people’s lives?

Part II of your post cannot include quotes. This part of your post must also end with a “Question to the Class” – something related to the topic that you found thought-provoking and about which you’d like to know more and have further dialog.

RESPOND TO 3 STUDENTS… responses to the postings of other students should be relevant and substantive. Reply posts containing just a few sentences or statements of agreement or disagreement only or that stray away from the topic or repeat what another classmate has already said in his or her posts does not demonstrate substantive discussion.


Part I:

My name is Rebecca O’Neill, and I’m 26 years old. I’ve been in the Navy for a little over eight years now, spending all that time in Norfolk, VA. I have a three year old daughter who keeps me pretty busy, but in my free time, I enjoy cooking, reading, working out, and playing video games. I had interest in this course because addiction runs in my family, and I wanted to learn about the causes for relapses. I am currently pursuing a bachelor’s in psychology with plans to work with children in the future. My first learning goal would be understanding why some people can try a drug and either get addicted or not get addicted. Another learning goal would be learning about why relapses happen. My last learning goal is learning about the drugs themselves and how exactly they affect an individual.

Part II:

The first topic that I think is the most important in understanding the impact of drugs in society and in people’s lives is the prescription drug crisis. Seeing so many celebrities and even family members struggle with addiction to prescription drugs has opened my eyes to how dangerous they can be. Another topic that is very important is the mixed social message that society portrays about drug use. They promote the use of pharmaceutical drugs without displaying/broadcasting the possible side effects and risk for addiction. A question about this topic that I found provoking is “How come society goes along with this norm of not exposing the truth about pharmaceutical drug abuse?”

-Rebecca O.


Part one:

My name is Aireyana Ferdinand. I am 21, turning 22 this month, and originally from Jacksonville, NC. I am in the Air Force stationed in South Korea, Osan AB. I enjoy playing video games, traveling, and spending time with my family and friends. I am in school for my bachelor’s in Health care administration, but I may change that once I find out a true passion. I hope to learn great things in the course over the next eight weeks. Reading the course name automatically piqued my interest in wanting to understand this topic. One of the goals I want to accomplish is completing my CCAF within the following year. I want to finish my bachelor’s before hitting ten years in the air force and want o get my master’s before retiring. My job also offers a lot of certifications that could benefit the outside world that I would love to complete.

Part Two:

The two topics I would argue are the most important are the classification of drugs and the difference between tolerance and withdrawal. First, understanding the difference between licit and illicit drugs is essential. The example with alcohol was fascinating and helped me understand better the classifications of drugs. It helped me understand many things can classify as a drug and cause a part in addiction. The second is tolerance and withdrawals. I wouldn’t even think that people who need to smoke more marijuana throughout the day to get the same initial high they used to when they smoked less can become a severe problem—especially when getting to the more complex drugs. I always understood withdrawals, especially having alcohol in my family showed me a lot firsthand.

“Question to the Class”:

What would you consider the most addictive or worst drug on this earth?


My name is Fatima, I am 23 years old and currently reside in El Paso, Texas. Besides the requirement for the completion of this course in order to move on in my education road, I have grown up in a environment that has showed me a lot of different drugs people take and growing up I used to think it was normal for everyone to do drugs, until I moved and found out it was not. My long term goal is to become a military psychologist and plan to further my education in the field of psychology. Three learning goals I have for this course is to learn about ways to educate on substance abuse, learn about the different treatments available and identify any factors that might put someone at a greater risk of being addicted.

The first topic I found very important was the role environmental factors play in drug abuse. This helped me understand that the environment a person is in is one if not the most important factor that contributes to addiction. If a person is in an environment that drugs and alcohol are accepted and encouraged, it can greatly influence a person to use and end up in addiction.

The second topic I found important is the tolerance and difference between physical and psychological dependence. A person who has a high tolerance will have their body used to the substance so their usage of the substance will be higher in order to affect them. When a person is dependent however, they will experience either physical or psychological symptoms that will make them believe it is vital to continue their usage of said substance.

These two topics helped me understand the impact of drugs. Is a specific age group more vulnerable to become addicted than the others?


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